Douvres-la-Delivrande, seat of a major German radar station

By 1943, the Germans had built a major air-detection radar station in the village of Douvres-la-Delivrande, inland from Saint-Aubin-sur-mer (Sector Nan on Juno Beach).

Juno Beach War Memorials in Douvres-la-Delivrande - British War Cemetery
British War Cemetery

They had heavily fortified this position, delineated in two zones by the road leading to Bény-sur-mer, with several bunkers defended by machine-guns and minefields.

These defended a massive Siemens Wasserman long-range radar on the northern section of the road, and two intermediate-range Freya and two short-range Wurzburg Riese radars on the other section.

The Germans had completed this massive installation with a command and infirmary fortified posts and artillery positions manned by 230 Luftwaffe personnel.

Their radars needed therefore to be neutralised before D-Day!

At 11pm on June 5th, the Allied jammed the radar frequencies from Cherbourg to Le Havre, blinding the German radar network.

In the early hours of June 6th, the Allied naval artillery bombarded the antennas at Douvres-la-Delivrande, depriving the Germans from communication.

The Canadian troops who landed on Juno Beach attacked Douvres, but the Germans resisted for 12 days.

On June 17th, the British 41 Commando, Royal Marines assisted by Allied artillery and the mine-clearing and anti-bunker tanks of the 79th Armoured Division seized Douvres-la-Delivrande.

Memorials in Douvres-la-Delivrande

1- German Radar
The radar is now a museum. Two bunkers were kept and converted to display the history of the evolution and role of radars. They also exhibit a Wurzburg radar antenna, one of the few surviving.

2- German Command Post WN23

British Army entering Douvre-la-Delivrande
British Army entering Douvre-la-Delivrande

A Memorial plaque pays tribute to the North Shore Canadian Regiment and the 10th Fort Garry Horse Cavalry Regiment who took the German Command Post WN23 in the evening of D-Day.

Directions: 14 rue de Saint-Aubin – Lat 49.306055 – Long -0.408870

3- Château de Tailleville – German HQ

The 2nd Battalion of the 736th German Infantry Regiment set up their headquarters in the castle.

The men of the Royal North Shore Regiment, supported by 13 tanks of the 10th Armored Regiment Fort Garry Horse Regiment, freed it after heavy fighting at 8:30 pm on D-Day.

Directions: 13 Route de Saint-Aubin – Lat 49.306829 – Long -0.408544

Wurzburg radar antenna - Juno Beach War Memorials in Douvre-la-Delivrande
Wurzburg radar antenna in Douvre-la-Delivrande

4- Place du Royal North Shore Regiment
This square was named in memory of the Royal North Shore Regiment who landed on Juno Beach – Saint-Aubin sector on D-Day and freed the Château de Tailleville (which today depends from Douvres-la-Délivrande).

Coordinates: Lat 49.304199 – Long -0.410912

5- Douvres-la-Délivrande British War Cemetery
The remains of 1,123 soldiers, among whom 927 British, 11 Canadians, 3 Australians, 1 Pole, 1 Unknown Soldier and 180 Germans were laid to rest in this cemetery.

War Memorials in:

Juno Beach: Bernières-sur-merCorseulles-sur-merGraye-sur-mer

Gold Beach: Arromanches – Ver-sur-mer

Sword Beach: Ouistreham

The other Normandy Landing Beaches: Sword, Gold, Omaha, Utah

Department of Calvados – Douvres-la-Delivrande
Coordinates Route Caen: Lat 49.290271 – Long -0.377657

Photos via Wikimedia Commons: British Cemetery header – British Cemetery and Cross Wurzburg antennaBritish Army on Sherman tank

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